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Blacksburg, South Carolina
June 11, 2005
Despite great success in his career, a turbulent personal life led to severe alcoholism. On New Years Day 1953, en route to a show, he died of a heart attack at only 29 years of age. His funeral was held at the old Montgomery Auditorium, where he performed many times, and he was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.
The museum, housed in a building once occupied by Williams, contains many of his personal belongings, a collection of his records, and other memorabilia. The two things that I remember most about our visit are the large wooden Indian "Kaw-liga" and the blue 1952 Cadillac that he was riding in the night he died. Also on display are the clothes he was wearing when he died, as well as some of the costumes he wore during performances.
The gift shop offers a variety of souvenir items. I purchased a cookbook chock-full of jambalaya recipes. I can't help but to hum the tune of "Jambalaya" every time I see it.
The museum also offers free maps, directing you to other Hank sites around Montgomery, such as his final resting place at Oakwood Cemetery and a life-sized statue located across from City Hall.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm and Sundays from 1 to 4pm. Admission is $5/adult. For more information, please visit www.hitdude.com.
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